New year, new painting! Haven't really dabbled in environmental paintings in a good long while, so I thought I'd just play around randomly to see what I came up with and... well... this is the result! It all started off with a photo I took back in Arizona of what appeared to be a mushroom cloud in the distance behind some farmland and desert. Built off that minor detail and what we have here is a full-blown alien invasion. In the beginning I had no clue what I was doing or where I was going to go with this piece, but it slowly evolved, and I had a lot of fun painting this. Especially when it came to including some homages and Easter eggs of classic sci-fi films I grew up with; such as Aliens, Tremors, Predator, Terminator, RoboCop, Godzilla, Starship Troopers, etc.

Process: The process of the basic background is honestly very simple as I initially put an oil paint filter over it and altered the color scheme to be more red and yellow oriented. Down the line I painted more emphasis on the mushroom cloud, added a shading gradient to the top and bottom-right corner of the painting, and added some orange/yellow into the sky. 

The alien was created solely out of color, no sketching done prior as I was experimenting with my style and also playing loose with what was to come from the piece itself. Eventually I made this giant creature attacking a little Yuma farm. Not much to add here other than I kept painting till I fleshed out the base shape of it, worked in some lighting, then added texture to give it a more gruesome presence. 

The soldier I was admittedly having trouble with at first; I kept sketching and nothing I drew was working at all, so I decided to take a picture of my fat ass as a reference image. From there I drew armor on top of myself (inspired by RoboCop and Starship Troopers), cut out about 40 pounds from the belly, traded out my legs for some army pants, severed my arm for a little alien monster to chew off, and color corrected the end image to better match the background. Not the greatest effect, but for the first time I'm really playing around in this territory of photoshopping... not bad, right? 

When it comes to vehicles, they are my Achilles heel. I have never been good at creating any vehicle... EVER. So I took an image of a military helicopter, widened the door, and kept drawing on top until I was able to come up with some halfway decent. And I think that's what I have here. It's okay. Nothing breathtaking, but I'll have to keep practicing there. 

The woman in the chopper is actually a photo of my girlfriend that I drew on top of and basically made into a Sarah Connor inspired badass... which is funny because her name is actually Sarah. I added a cat next to her, he's my cat that was in one of my reference images and thought it would be funny to include him observing the alien invasion. 

The tractor-truck is a combination of a 3D model of a truck, which I made a PNG of, incorporated the image into the canvas, painted on top of and superimposed elements of tractors to make into its own weird little vehicle. Again, nothing mind-blowing. But I like it. After that I color corrected the truck and buried it partially under the dirt to seem as though it's crashed. 

The fired shots are simply a PNG of a gun flare that I altered the color on and warping into different shapes to give it more ferocity. The background monster is crudely painted then given a blur effect. 

Thank you and I hope you enjoy!

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